It’s Looking Like Fall

When you live in Florida, you forget what changing seasons look like. In fact, you divide the world into two classifications: hot and hotter. Today’s ride from Cullman, Alabama to Cape Girardeau reminded me of how pretty this time of year can be. I ran across the first really striking trees around Huntsville.

By the time I got north of Nashville, the colors were starting to get pretty enough that I decided to risk death by shooting some windshield pictures. Now, before you take me to task for not concentrating on my driving, these aren’t carefully composed photos where I hold the viewfinder up to my eye and wait for just the right composition. I stick the camera up in front of me and hold the button down, glancing at the LCD screen on the back every few frames to see if I’m pointing anywhere close to the right direction. It’s gangbanger-style photos where you spray and pray.

Still a lot of green left

My eye was drawn to the farm coming up on the right, the clouds and the patches of sunlight on the road. I clicked off eight frames. The first one was the best. That’s frequently the case. I might shoot multiple frames of a subject to bracket the exposure or to make sure the picture is sharp, but it’s almost the first shot that has the best composition. That helped form my philosophy of “shoot it when you see it.” The longer you fool around, the better the chance that the magic is going to leak out.

Clouds look menacing

By the time I got off I-24 at the Cadiz exit, the clouds were beginning to take on an Armageddon appearance. Despite their menacing look, I covered about 350 miles Sunday with just a handful of sprinkles.

90-degree approach

I published a photo of the Ohio River bridge at Cairo from the eastbound side last trip. I hit the infamous 90-degree approach to the bridge from the westbound side this time at about dark-thirty.

Tuesday Preview Show

Here’s the last plug for my preview show at the Altenburg Museum on Tuesday night at 6:30. I have to cut my presentation down for the formal show later in the month, so I’m looking for folks to tell me what works and what can be jettisoned. I’ll be talking about stories I’ve covered interesting folks I’ve met and what it’s like to have a job where you work a mere 300 seconds a year.

Last leg photo gallery

Here are a few more windshield grab shots from the last leg of my ride to Cape. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Northbound TN I-24

The trip back home to Cape has been mostly uneventful. Getting out of Florida was a wet slog, but traffic was light and my Rain-X meant that I rarely had to run my windshield wipers.

I’m not a big Stephen King fan, but I loaded one his books in my MP3 player and have had the miles click off listening to the horrible happenings in Desperation, NV. Maybe they’re clicking off so quickly because the book dampens any desire you have to go on backroads through desolate countryside.

Most of Thursday was spent escaping Georgia. It’s kind of disheartening to have to go through l0ng states like Florida and Georgia. You have a better feeling of making progress when you’re going through skinny states like Tennessee (if you’re going north and south, that is).

Atop Nickajack Lake bridge

Traffic was moving fine until I got to Atlanta at rush hour. Boy, RUSH hour is a misnomer. They should call it Crawl Hour.

I rounded a curve north of Chattanooga and mentally kicked myself for not being ready to shoot a high railroad bridge that crosses the highway.

I decided I’d better take advantage of the few minutes of daylight I had left to capture the foothills of the eastern Continental Divide.

The photo at the top was taken as we were starting to climb the big bridge over Nickajack Lake, about a third of the way between Chattanooga and Monteagle Pass. The second shot was taken just ever the top of the bridge.

Garish fireworks stand

This fireworks store has always fascinated me, but never enough to get off The Big Road to stop, particularly with a Stephen King horror book playing in the background.

I should be pulling into Cape late Friday afterno0n.